The Only Constant is Change

It's Haruhi, Kaoru, and Hikaru's final year at Ouran. Dynamics are changing and evolving... What will happen to the Host Club Members?

Author's Note: This story takes place about 8 months after the events in A Faire Shot at Mythology. It can be read as a stand alone, but it references events and items from that piece as well. If you are reading my work for the 1st time, I would humbly suggest reading my other stories The Game and A Faire Shot at Mythology before reading this to completely understand some of the relationship dynamics that I use. I promise that if you like this style of writing you will like those too. =)

http://archiveofourown.org/works/681492/chapters/1250078

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51. Unexpected Control

Twenty minutes later on the dot, all seven Host club members returned upstairs to find the Conservatory had been completely transformed in their brief absence. It was now bustling with people – make-up artists, hair stylists, wardrobe and photographer’s assistants, as well as Yuzuha, Akira, Yorihisa, Renge, and Mai. Upon seeing their sons, Akira and Yorihisa excused themselves and gestured for Hani and Takashi to lead them downstairs.

Yuzuha waived at them airily, “Come on back up when you are done. We will need you both for some group and individual shots.” To the others she gestured to the seven empty chairs. “Boys, Kyouya, Tamaki, Haruhi, Renge, Mai, have a seat. As soon as make-up and hair is done then we will begin. I am going to scout around the building with the photographers to find the right locations. We will do some outside shots as well so we get a good variety of pictures to put on the website. It’s too bad that we don’t have any pictures in seasons other than winter, but that will have to be a work in progress. Normally, of course we would just have one photographer, but since we need to rush this roll out, I have several. After each shoot, they will immediately start editing while we move on to the next scene. Some we will run simultaneously since we don’t need all of you in every shot. Kane will set up here in the Conservatory and start with all of you in swimwear since we can make this look like a tropical get away. From there – Tamaki I want you to go to the Music Room with Kyouya and Haruhi. I want shots of you playing the piano while they dance romantically. Dress is romantic and sensual but not formal. While they are doing the music shoot, Hika, Kao, Renge and Mai I want you guys outside frolicking in the snow. Hopefully Hani and Takashi will be back by the time the 1st shot is finished and they can do a martial arts practice scene in the Dojo. Haruhi – after the Music Room, I want you in the Dojo with them. I want some images of you and Takashi doing yoga together, silhouetted against the windows. Kyouya, I want a picture of you in a suit descending the staircase. In the Library, I want these shots – Hika and Kao playing a video game, Tamaki and Takashi playing chess, Renge curled up in the window seat with a book, Haruhi and Mai laughing over something Hani has said while you all relax on the couches. I want a glam-shot of Mai in one of the bathrooms and a vintage one of Haruhi and Hikaru in one of the bedrooms. We will end with a formal dress scene with everyone in the ballroom. That should give us enough material to work with. We should be able to have the web designers start this afternoon.” Quickly, Yuzuha bustled out of the room with a trail of photographers behind her.

Tamaki stared after her and blinked rapidly a few times before turning to Kao and saying, “Umm… wow. Is your mom usually like that? So commanding and focused?”

The twins laughed, while Kyouya, Haruhi, Renge and Mai smiled. Kao answered with a smile still on his lips, “I keep forgetting that this is the first time you have dealt with mom when she is ‘in mode’. There’s a reason she is a premier designer and it’s not just because she can sew pretty designs. She is an artist and she knows exactly how to arrange and manipulate people, scenes, and images to create maximum effect. She may leave the actual process to others, but she is very much in control of what the end result will be.”

Hikaru continued, “My suggestion is sit down and hang on for the ride. It’s going to be an exhausting day. Hopefully mom remembered to arrange for some food delivered midday.”

“Nope, but I did.” Renge laughed as Kaoru threw her a wink and a kiss.

“How tiring can changing clothes and taking pictures really be?” Tamaki asked curiously.

“Far more tiring than you would ever think it would be,” Kyouya responded seriously. He then related the story of the time that Hika and Kao were preparing the costumes for the Ouran fair where they did the Andromeda myth. “That was just them and we weren’t trying to pose and take pictures in the middle of it. Trust Hika on this – it takes a LOT more than you think it does.”

“But it will be amazing in the end,” Haruhi said before reaching up to kiss his cheek. “When Yuzuha is done and this week is over, Maison de Roses will be THE hot spot for weddings and events. Now, we should probably get started or face Yuzuha’s wrath.” She walked over and sat in one of the chairs. In unspoken accord, the others followed her example.
 

 

********************

Three hours later and Tamaki was in full agreement with Kyouya’s assessment. “I had no idea…” he muttered to himself as he flopped into a chair in the Library after his third change of the day. He was sitting idly by watching one photographer work on getting pictures of Renge and the girls with Hani, having just completed his set with Takashi. He was also perfectly angled to see Kane (the photographer who did their first shoot) taking pictures of Kyouya on the grand staircase. Dear gods, Kyouya is attractive. In that suit and his position on the staircase he looks like a powerful man coming down to greet his minions. He can be so commanding when he wants to be. Hell - I wouldn’t mind doing the dishes if he asked me to do so while wearing that suit with THAT look. The thought caused blood to rush to his groin and his pants to tighten as his mind slipped into its theater. Me- shirtless in a pair of faded jeans with a frilly apron, bent over the sink so the jeans frame my ass perfectly, my hands are covered in suds, as Kyouya walks in dressed to perfection in that suit, comes up behind me, grabs a glass and inspects, sets it back down before pulling me back against his chest by the strings of the apron and growling into my ear ‘you missed a spot’. Then he would-

The door to the house crashed open and Yoshio Ootori stepped into the foyer. He spared only the briefest glance around the impressive entrance hall before spotting his son on the staircase. His heels clicked loudly and angrily on the tile floor as he stalked over to Kyouya. Without preamble, he spoke in rapid-fire Japanese. “What the hell are you doing?”

“Hello Father,” Kyouya said coolly as he tried to hide the frantic beating of his heart. “As you can see, I am in the middle of a photo shoot for the Maison de Roses website.”

All activity in the Library had ceased the moment the door had crashed open. Haruhi and Hikaru rushed forward into the hall before the first words left Yoshio Ootori’s mouth. Hani, Tamaki, Takashi and Kaoru were only a heartbeat behind.

The photographer in the process of shooting Renge started to follow, camera surreptitiously held low to capture the scene unfolding in front of him, but a firm grip on his arm stopped him. “Don’t you dare or you will never work in the Industry again.” Renge said with a warning in her voice. She saw his hesitation and said further steel in her tone, “You may not think that I have the power, but Yuzuha does. If we find out that you sold pictures of this to the press, you better find another career or get comfortable as a mall photographer, because you WILL be blackballed.” With that, she stepped forward to stand behind the united front her friends were presenting.

Yoshio Ootori neither heard nor heeded the sudden influx into the hall. His attention was focused on his son and the infuriatingly calm demeanor he was currently presenting. He took several more steps forward, not liking the way Kyouya remained poised above him on the staircase. “You know that I couldn’t care less for whatever (he gestured imperiously to indicate the photography equipment) ridiculous game you think you are playing here. I am concerned that you are making the Ootori name a laughingstock in the business community. I tolerated your desire to allow Haruhi Fujioka to date Hikaru Hitachiin as long as you were dating her as well, knowing that if she was as smart as you all seem to think she is, she would eventually realizing that aligning with the Ootori family would be in her best interests. Anything else would be foolish.” He threw a sneering glance over his shoulder to the girl who had gone as white as a sheet. Seeing the man standing next to her, gripping her hand tightly, turn red in anger he continued, “Now I find out that instead of making her see sense, you have lost yours. What game are you playing at? This coming out as a faggot with Hikaru Hitachiin. Was your interest in Haruhi only a cover for your base and reckless nature? Does she whore for all of you now? Have you been hiding your perverted tendencies from us for years? You disgrace your name.”

At Yoshio’s words, blackness then red threatened to cover Kyouya’s eyes and each word was a stab in his chest, making it difficult to breathe. He tightened his grip on the rail, willing himself to let the words roll off. A small sound rang in his ears and he looked past his father to where his friends were standing. The unified look of outrage on all of their faces, made the tightness in his chest ease. Making a split second decision, he silently walked down the stairs to stand with them. Deliberately putting his arms around both Hikaru and Haruhi, he responded, “I play no game with you father. I am in love with both Haruhi Fujioka and Hikaru Hitachiin. I simply am no longer willing to hide that from the world. I am choosing to be with both of them as they have chosen to stand with me even when I have not deserved their love.”

“Love is ridiculous sentiment. It has no place in business other than as a marketing tool to play on the sympathies of the uneducated and common.”

“Love is something that a true family shares.”

“A true family of the aristocracy has no need for love. The notion of love is foolish sentimental tripe. A family is made of respect, knowing your place, and adhering to the traditions of the past. Women may be excused from their foolish emotions after childbirth, since it is an ingrained response to protect, but a man should only focus on providing for his heirs. In return for that, it is not unreasonable to demand a certain level of devotion.”

“You have no concept of what devotion means!” Hikaru yelled and started to push forward angrily. Only Kyouya’s arm tightening across his shoulders held him back.

“It certainly isn’t the perverse conduct that you and your brother have.” Yoshio sneered as Hikaru recoiled as if slapped.

Tightly wound anger entered Kyouya’s voice. “Father, you may insult me all you wish but you WILL refrain from insulting my friends.”

“And why would I do that? They are inconsequential.”

Tamaki strode forward, shoulders back and ice in his voice as he replied. “I am sole heir to the Suoh Empire. You may consider me inconsequential now, but I assure you that if you want to retain business relations with my family you will need to cease this scene.”

Yoshio blanched slightly before replying, “Your grandmother and father still retain control. It will be years before you have the infrastructure to take on the Ootori’s.”

“My son may still be young and eager, but he is not wrong Yoshio Ootori.” A new voice echoed through the room as Yuzuru Suoh walked in followed immediately by Yuzuha, Akira, and Yorihisa. All walked over to stand behind the group. “He will be taking over the company when he completes his schooling. He already is a sitting board member. You do him a disservice by discounting him and you insult the Hitachiin, Haninozuka, and Morinozuka families by your disregard for their children.”

Yoshio realized the situation was starting to spiral out of his control and tried a different tack to regain it. “Yuzuru, you know I mean no disrespect to you or your company and I have nothing but the utmost respect for the Haninozuka and Morinozuka families. While I do not have any current business dealings with the Hitachiin Design Group, I respect their skill in their chosen field. This is a private family matter and does not reflect on my business matters.”

“That’s where I would disagree with you, Yoshio,” Yuzuha replied, eyes burning even as she projected a cold professional tone. “You just insulted my son and the woman I consider my adopted daughter. Unlike your cold dismissal of the idea of love, I know what a valuable and lucrative resource it truly is. The fact that you do not see it makes me wonder about your business acumen. We obviously do not see eye to eye on this issue. You may rest assured that HDG will never do business with the Ootori group while it remains in your control. HDG is about innovation, energy, and change not stagnation.”

Yoshio started to reply when Akira cut him off, “Ootori, aside from the fact that you have directly insulted a member of our House, it has come to our attention that your business philosophy no longer is compatible with the traditions of House Zouka. Effective immediately we are terminating all the contracts with the Ootori Group for the training of your private police force and all members of the Morinozuka and Haninozuka household currently employed by your organization will give their notice.”

“As will the employees of our allied houses,” Yorihisa added.

Yoshio went white then red as he realized the implications of both Akira and Yorihisa’s statements. Seventy percent of his private police force and personal security team were made up of members of House Zouka and another 20% were made up of members of their allied houses. Fifty percent of the Ootori medical branch was made up of people who had received healer training from House Zouka. Still reeling from the implications he latched onto something that Akira had said, “Akira Morinozuka, my apologies but I am confused. I have offered no insult to your son Takashi or to young Mitskune.”

Haruhi stepped forward and said quietly, steel in her voice, “I am a full voting member of House Zouka. You insulted me and you insulted the men that I love. I know I am of no consequence to you – my family is neither powerful nor rich and my father lives an alternative lifestyle – but that does not mean that I cannot see the truth… and the truth is you are so blinded by your lust for money and power that you fail to see the things of real value that have been staring you in the face for the last twenty years. You have done nothing but dismiss and criticize the one person who could have secured your legacy. Your other two sons are too cowed by you to have any initiative. They will be clones that will maintain what you have achieved but will never come up with anything new. Your legacy is dying and I pity you.”

Yoshio drew himself up and said coldly, “You are right in only one thing – you are of no consequence. You have been a member of House Zouka for less than 48 hours. I have had a long standing business relationship with them for 20+ years.”

“Yet they are still choosing to support her rather than you, father. If that doesn’t make you understand, then I am afraid nothing will,” Kyouya said quietly.

Yoshio turned to glare at Kyouya, “You call me father, but do you deserve that right? I have challenged you, pushed you, and molded you to become an elite business leader and you throw it all back in my face.” Yoshio softened his tone before continuing, “But I can be forgiving. You have demonstrated that you still have the business sense to succeed. If you leave now and return to Japan with me, we can put this past us and you can take your rightful place as heir to the Ootori Empire.”

Kyouya was stunned as so many thoughts ran through his head. This is what you dreamed of for so many years… but is it still what I want? Kyouya looked over at Hikaru and Haruhi. They kept their faces carefully neutral, but he could see the faint trembling in their linked fingers. They are trying to let me make this decision on my own… but I already made it. I think I made it almost a year ago, when Hikaru challenged me and I first kissed Haruhi. My life would be empty without them and the others. Yoshio Ootori still thinks that I am the child that is desperate to please. I am not. True pleasure is in both giving and receiving. Business is not life. People are life and I want to be with the people who will share my life with me. Taking a deep breath, he stepped back and wrapped his hand around Haruhi and Hikaru’s linked one. “You are right... but not in the way you seem to think. You don’t deserve the title of father. I am not sure that you ever have. Therefore, I give it back to you… and I formally disassociate myself from House Ootori. I am no longer the son of Yoshio Ootori.”

   
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